Hines Ward said on "Good Morning America." today that his win on "Dancing With the Stars" Tuesday night is still sinking in, especially for a jock who has spent his entire life on the football field, not the dance floor.
"When I signed up, I'd never danced in my whole life," the NFL star told "GMA" in his first post-finale interview. "I was so scared. I didn't even go to my prom."
Ward and fellow finalists, actress Kirstie Alley and Disney Channel star Chelsea Kane and their professional partners, were welcomed to "GMA" by crowds of fans waving yellow "Terrible Towels," a reference to Ward's day job as an All-Pro wide receiver for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
"This competition was so close throughout the whole season that we knew it was going to come down to the fans' vote," said Ward, who shares the trophy with his professional partner, Kym Johnson. "Steeler Nation and all the fans were just great."
"The fans have just been wonderful," Kane agreed on "GMA." "To be in the finals, it's really just surreal and amazing."
Another point all the finalists, and their partners, agreed on while appearing on "GMA" is the intensity, both physically and mentally, demanded by the competition.
Ward compared the 10 weeks of the show to the intensity of NFL training camp, and said he was ready to get back on the field because the dancing kept him in such great shape.
"I think we've all lost weight," he said.
"It's the hardest physically I've ever worked in my life," agreed Alley, who made no bones from day one of the season about her goal to lose weight during the competition. "It's insane. It's brutal."
"The many hours of practice, you get a little delusional," said her partner Chmerkovskiy. "But I think the culminating moment, and worth, of the week is every Monday when you dance."
Alley said she is "not quite finished" with her weight-loss goal, but that the experience inspired an even bigger move in her life, a decision to return to the big screen.
"I am. It's time," Alley said on "GMA" of her plans to return to acting. "It [the competition] inspired me. I'd gotten complacent."